Yahoo to refresh its e-mail service

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Sunnyvale, Calif.—Yahoo plans to streamline the looks of its Yahoo Mail service and improve in the process its speed, in particular for countries with slower Internet connections.

The e-mail service overhaul, code-named "Minty" and expected to roll out this fall, also will have greater integration with social networking services, the company said. Yahoo said the service's new interface will resemble simpler designs, such as those intended for mobile devices and its own recently released version for the iPad.

The changes come in response to increasing pressure from competitors. According to comScore, Yahoo—while still the largest e-mail service provider in the U.S.—has seen its number of users drop 7% over the past year, to 97 million as of August. Meanwhile, Gmail's user base has grown 22%, while Hotmail’s up 3% in the same period.

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